Madrid is a meeting point for all kinds of people, whether foreigners or Spaniards from all over the country. And the region that most expresses this is Malasaña.
Revolving around Plaza del 2 de Mayo, Malasaña is close to Madrid’s main tourist areas (Gran Vía and Plaza de España), traditional neighborhoods like Argüelles and the city’s gay district, Chueca.
Malasaña is the destination of most young people who make the early hours their main social environment. For some, there is the “alternative” scene of the city, with clubs dedicated to rock and international music.
One of them, La Vía Láctea (Calle Velarde, 18) became an icon of Madrid’s alternative culture – in the 1980s, it was frequented by personalities such as filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar.
But the truth is that it has bars and restaurants for all tastes and budgets. The most “pijos” go to Pachá, while the students make “botellón” hidden from the police – because you can’t drink in the street there.
(Update: Madrid’s Pacha closed in 2013, now only in Ibiza.)
In general, people usually get together from the Tribunal, Bilbao and Plaza de España metro stations to then decide where to go, exploring the small streets and their many options, looking for the best proposal made by promoters who offer “chupitos” or “copas ” (shots and drinks) with a discount or even for free.
But not only does Malasaña live at night. During the day it is a cozy place for coffee or lunch. Here is a map of the Tribunal region that indicates restaurants and attractions, as well as decoration, music and even comic stores.
The old Mercado de San Ildefonso (Calle Fuencarral, 57) has been completely renovated and is a good place to try Spanish paella. Open every day from 10 am to midnight and has food and gourmet products in general.
At Plaza 2 de Mayo, you can also see children playing while their parents drink coffee in the sun. On Saturdays, there is a small antiques and collections fair, demonstrating the pleasant and plural atmosphere of this area.
Apart from the main tourist attractions in Madrid – Prado Museum, Reina Sofia, Retiro Park, etc. – the Malasaña and Tribunal region certainly embodies the spirit of the city in its many facets